Washington, Georgia voters weigh in on charter schools
Georgia voters like Jaime Grant were asked to consider an amendment to the state constitution involving charter schools.
November 7th, 2012
02:57 AM ET

Washington, Georgia voters weigh in on charter schools

By Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN

(CNN) - In an election year when education didn’t draw much attention, some voters considered Tuesday the future of charter schools in their states.

In Washington, there was a narrow lead for an initiative that would allow the opening of the state’s first public charter schools.

Washington is one of nine states that doesn’t have any public charter schools. Initiative 1240 would allow eight charter schools per year in the state, up to 40 over five years. At the end of that period, the charter system would be up for review. The system would be free and open to all students, and independently operated.

Critics argued the initiative was an expensive proposition at a time when schools were already underfunded, and that it didn’t serve enough students.

Supporters said the schools would create competition among schools and increase the choices available to parents and students. They liked that the schools wouldn’t be bound by district curriculum mandates or teacher unions’ contracts.

In Georgia, with most ballots counted, voters favored a constitutional amendment that would allow a state commission to approve school charters, even if local and state boards deny them.

A commission appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and state House speaker will be able to approve charter school petitions.

Supporters said it would expand charter school offerings in the state.

Opponents said it will take authority from elected officials in favor of political appointees, siphon money from existing schools and bolster for-profit charter operators rather than families seeking school choice.

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Filed under: Charter schools • Politics
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Dan

    Poor students are more expensive to educate. These same students are more likely to come from single-parent homes where an overwhelmed parent provides light oversight, poor nutrition and fewer background-expanding experiences. Explain how union contracts are involved with any of those and I'll take it up with my union. Until then, let's be honest about the expense of poverty on our country. My students need more and they get less. Unions have nothing to do with it.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  2. mrdma50

    I worked for two charter schools and must say they are the downfall of education.

    November 14, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  3. Ted Ward

    The reason people want private charter schools and to not spend more money on public schools is because people have lost confidence in public schools to use the funds well and to treat their kids well. Having been through public schools themselves parents know that they aren't so great. Union contracts basically alienate the parents and community from their own schools and dictate how the public schools are run. Since that hasn't been so good, parents want another option that puts their kid's and their education first and not the jobs, contracts, and working conditions of teachers, coaches, administrators, janitors, maintenance persons, bus drivers, etc, etc.

    November 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  4. JOSE--USMC-0311

    ANY PARENT THAT SEND THEIR KIDS TO POOR–OVER POPULATED SCHOOLS IS NOT HELPING THEIR KIDS ANY...POOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS SHOULD BE SHUT DOWN..
    I BEEN TO RICH UPPER CLASS SCHOOLS AND TO POOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS..
    RICH UPPER CLASS PUBLIC SCHOOL-15 KIDS PER CLASS ROOM--TEACHERS AVERAGE PAY ? $ 60,000.

    POOR SCHOOLS --CLASS ROOM SIDE 35 TO 40 KIDS--TEACHER AVERAGE PAY ? $ 35,000

    November 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • seejayjames

      Sure-rich schools typically are better. No argument there. The problem is that they're only available to the rich. Meanwhile, the poor get their public schools. Without helping those public schools, the education and class divide will only get worse. So how do we solve it? Not by giving private, for-profit schools more incentives!

      November 12, 2012 at 12:23 am |
      • tron777

        Then get rich and send your kids to the good schools.

        November 12, 2012 at 10:33 am |